The Kyrie Irving era in Boston has come to a close.
The Celtics point guard will agree to a four-year, $141 million max contract with the Brooklyn Nets early in the NBA free agency period Sunday night. Players (with few exceptions) are not able to officially sign their new deals until July 6. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Irving will be joined by free agents Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan.
Brooklyn is making a clean sweep tonight: Brooklyn will sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
Irving arrived in Boston after a surprising trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in August of 2017. He played well for the C's in 2017-18 but was unable to take part in the team's playoff run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals after undergoing season-ending knee surgery in April of 2018.
The Celtics went into 2018-19 with expectations of competing for an NBA championship with Irving and Gordon Hayward each returning from season-ending injuries. Irving told fans at a season ticket holder event in October that he planned to re-sign the team, which was a sigh of relief for many Celtics supporters.
Unfortunately for the C's, everything that could have gone wrong following that October event actually did go wrong. The team struggled out of the gate, earning a 10-10 record through 20 games. Irving played a part in the team chemistry issues that seemed to plague the club throughout the campaign, and his performance as a team leader also was poor. When pressed about his commitment to the franchise, Irving told reporters Feb. 1 to "ask me July 1."
The Celtics, despite an excellent statistical season from Irving, limped through the regular season as the No. 4 seed in the East entering the playoffs, where they ultimately were eliminated in a five-game second-round series by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Irving era in Boston had so much potential when it started, but by the end, it was clear that both sides needed to move on.
Luckily for the Celtics, it looks like they've found an excellent replacement for Irving in Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker. Walker reportedly will agree to a four-year, $141 million contract with the C's on Sunday night.
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